Three Epicor ERP System Trends In 2015
There are several major topics on the minds of Epicor ERP system users that seem to keep popping up this year. Recently, Epicor conducted a global research project, surveying companies around the world on the effectiveness of their current ERP – regardless of if they were a current customer or not. 50% of respondents contested that their ERP systems were only being used in an “adequate” or “basic” capacity. In addition, 86 percent of companies were reportedly hard pressed to achieve greater response times from departments and lacked access to critical information necessary to run their business in a more efficient manner. We’re finding that these survey results seem to really speak to the heart of the common topics many Epicor ERP system users are talking about this year.
As users invest in ways to improve and optimize their system, we’ve seen a rise in inquires from our customers regarding the topics below. We’ve added some data and information about each topic that may serve useful to you if these issues are relevant to your organization as well.
Setting the stage: Adapting for better data
Capital funding and expenditure in the manufacturing and distribution industries are improving in 2015. Analysts believe capital spending in the industry will increase by 4 percent as a result of several immerging U.S. market trends; which will in turn lead to market growth and increased data collection efforts. Many Epicor ERP system users amidst it all may soon desire an ancillary platform integrated into Epicor ERP system capable of measuring this massive amount of data .
Epicor ERP system users are beginning to notice that as buyers demands increase, so does the need for better business intelligence and a need for more interactive ways for teams to communicate with one another from multiple sites. It is important for each business to determine this for themselves and conceptualize how this data might best serve them. But, what we’re seeing is an evolution of Epicor ERP user expectations. Organizations want more data, more automation, and better reporting. This commons on the heals of a natural increase in the amount of data available.
Many of the top issues on the minds of Epicor ERP system users include mechanisms that will allow these processes to take place while adapting for an increase in inherent data. This includes; business intelligence, social/organizational connectivity within the ERP, and the benefits of upgrading into newer versions of Epicor (and the modules existing therein).
1.) Business Intelligence:
Your company’s report building processes may be more strategic than operational and frequently involve data visuals, executive information, and OLAP. Business Intelligence software is an integrated module capable of extracting ample datasets from a variety of business operations to be displayed through simplistic dashboards for users. It then renders inferences about correlations and trends found in the data based on business-specific metrics and benchmarks. From there, the firm can refer to relevant and historical trend analysis when immerging segments in the market look like a solid bet.
Epicor users are finding themselves experiementing with outside BI tools like Microsoft BI, Tableu, and others to assist in their reporting and tracking. This seems far more common this year than in years past. The benefits are numerous; especially considering the functions of modern BI tools. However, it’s not right for every business. If your organization is still struggling with dashboards inside of Epicor, a BI tool may not be the overarching solution you think it can be. There are multiple things to consider.
Important questions companies should ask themselves when considering BI options and integrations.
- Are we data driven?
- How important is reporting for us?
- Are we tracking data now? Are we doing a good job?
- Is our data processing matching our goals?
- Where are the bottlenecks?
2.) A Social Enterprise
As a user you may oversee several business sites, customers, accounts, or partners and want a more meaningful way for each entities stakeholders to collaborate inside the Epicor ERP system. Since many of today’s users are increasingly more social through digital means, Epicor developed aodule to foster business cooperation called Enterprise Social Network inside of Epicor version 10.
The module permits users to retrieve relevant information from any workflow throughout their supply chain. Businesses are using the tool to become more integrated and cross-functionalize their team as a result of the application. Enterprise Social provides a holistic approach for E10 users to adopt insights and experiences from others in their supply chain and assist them in better understanding the scope of the business.
When Epicor ERP System users engage with an item on their social feed, such as checking the “like” box of a faster shipping date or commenting on an engineering status report, they then receive notifications of all the engagement streams sprouting from those items. The platform empowers users to limit production uncertainties and increase the clarity of communication among operational silos.
For example, sales personnel can avoid sharing ambiguous order updates with clients by providing a specific reason about a shipping delay or inquire about inventory availability from the plant. The best part about the feature is the UX/UI layout for mobile users. According to the survey from the opening vignette, 65% of users perceive mobility as vitally important to enabling access to information for virtual workers.
Many Epicor ERP system users on a previous version are likely considering purchasing and implement the new Epicor version 10 or 10.1 this year. Determining costs and options with Epicor 10 could be nearly on-par with your initial software selection choice, or it could be something that is small expense that occurs over a weekend. Deciding which is true for your organization is paramount.
Many of our clients come to us looking for a clear understanding of whether it is better for them to upgrade or re-implement their ERP software. Some may select an upgrade because it is faster to implement, in theory, than a re-implementation. Taking this approach can allow you to implement now, and test later. This can be extremely risky and is only suggested if you have impeccable data, and an extremely well organized systems; or a specific need of new functionality in the latest version. Most of the time, the great error we see companies make is thinking with this type of mentality. The reason to upgrade should never include implementation speed as a primary deciding factor. To upgrade, you should be on the most current version of Epicor and should have a very good understanding of how succinct your data is.
Re-implementation is often the best choice for users on versions that are not Epicor 9.05 (i.e. Vantage 6-8). This will require a reentry of all the master data into the new system. Sounds painful, right? Partnering with the right consultant remedies the agony at the onset. Re-implementation delivers a ton of positivity as a result. A new, clean system will not bring problems into a newly implemented ERP. Your team has the opportunitiy to review data before importing it in. There are maybe hundredss—if not thousands—of customer database records not valid anymore. Ultimately this will optimize your data. You can now live headache free knowing your team has reviewed data files and are leaving it out. No irrelevant data can pollute your system.
We’re finding this to be one of the hottest topics this year, and we expect that to continue as 10.1 is released this summer. It’s important that before embarking on any upgrade that your business understand what things will look and act like on the other side. The best way to do this is have a implementation process based in best practices. For more information contact our team,
What’s on your mind? Leave your comments below. If you’d like more information about these popular topics and your Epicor ERP system contact our team today. We are currently working on multiple projects like those above with companies all over the world.